Tuesday, April 10, 2007

SSHRC Aid to Open Access Journals

It's been mentioned on other blogs (Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, Peter Suber, etc) but I thought a note about the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's (SSHRC) recently-released Aid to Open Access Journals would be appropriate here (most of the bloggers on OA Librarian are Canadian and this is a Canadian program so...).

Anyway, as noted, SSHRC recently came out with a support program for Canadian OA journals in the social sciences and humanities. Details are at http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/program_descriptions/open_access_journals_e.asp#5.

Wearing my Serials Librarian hat, I have to say that this program may be very welcome; I certainly think it's a good idea. Some Canadian publishers of social sciences and humanities journals (societies, associations) have been a little freaked out about OA and how it can be supported so hopefully the Aid to OA Journals will alleviate some worries. Of course, the program is aimed at already-OA journals that have been around for at least two years; maybe a program to support conversion to OA is coming sometime in the not-too-distant future? It also remains to be seen if the amount of the grant ($850 CAN per article published plus up to $5,000 CAN to help defray distribution costs) will be adequate. Finally, the grant is only for one year and is not renewable; what affect will this have on journals? How many journals will get "hooked" on the grant and face "withdrawl" at the end of the 12 months?

1 comment:

Maximilian C. Forte said...

I must be one of the last people to post an analysis of SSHRC's Aid to Open Access Journals. Personally, I think that the way the program is structured could do harm, and has almost certainly been conceived by people who are either unfriendly to OA or highly suspicious of it, especially as they try to force print-based standards on OA. It is a bad way to begin, and they should have consulted with people who could have provided positive, constructive suggestions. I elaborate on this at: